After 50 years of robotic exploration, scientists and engineers have amassed a wealth of data on what it would take to send humans to Mars and keep them alive there. Exploration planners at NASA and elsewhere talk of “pioneering” Mars, with a series of visits to build up an infrastructure for an ongoing presence.  Now, with the growing realization that the planet contains abundant water and other resources, planners are considering how robots can use them to prepare a safe ...

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